MV’s Women’s Advisory Panel provides a platform to represent the broad range of cultural and economic perspectives of women and people who identify as women who are working in music-related professions as part of Music Victoria's leadership and advocacy on societal issues in the creative sector.
Music Victoria has become a national leader on action and advocacy around gender representation issues in the music industry ~ implementing the 40:40:20 gender quotas to all MV events and organisational activities and progressing safe spaces initiatives. We are looking to draw on the considerable expertise in our sector to continue our leadership role in this space.
MV’s Women’s Advisory Panel Terms of Reference are here
Sarah Blaby (Chair & Music Victoria Board Member)
Sarah Blaby is a musician, DJ, venue booker, promoter and currently the sponsorship manager at PBS FM. She works alongside all major venues, festivals, councils, touring agents and promoters in Victoria, as well as National booking agents and media agencies. PBS is a one of the nation’s largest community radio stations, specializing in music of all genres and a champion of the local Melbourne scene. As manager of the sponsorship department she is responsible for funding partnerships, advertising income, maintaining council and government relations and keeping in touch with new and established venues and musicians in all stages of their careers.
With over 20 years in the Melbourne music scene, across media, venues and as a musician, she brings a wealth of experience in grass roots and punk rock DIY spaces and events, has a large knowledge of the club and DJ scene through 8 years as Revolver programmer, and is connected to a large vibrant scene of musicians and artists. Sarah was part of the now legendary ‘Rock n Roll High school’, has toured with Le Tigre, Le Butcherettes, Dinosaur Jr, The Coolies, Von Bondies, plus pretty much every Melbourne band you can think of, touring across Australia, Europe, Japan and USA. She’s performed at Big Day Out, Ladyfest, North by North East (NXNE Toronto) and represented organisations at South by South West. Sarah also managed Melbourne dark wave act HTRK during the recording of Marry me Tonight and she plays guitar in local three piece, Plaster of Paris.
Laura Imbruglia (Secretary)
Previously most well-known as a musician (with 4 albums and countless tours under her belt), in recent years, Laura has been at the helm of the beloved variety webseries "Amateur Hour". She's appeared on panels across Melbourne to offer advice on crowdfunding and grant writing, and is passionate about empowering, educating and galvanising musicians.
Laura has also been known to DJ and host music trivia around Melbourne, and hosts the occasional pop up radio show "Word Nerds" on 3RRR. She's still making music too (naturally).
Dan ‘Mz’ Rizk is a DJ, broadcaster, curator and advocate for women and people of colour. Dan brings over 15 years’ experience working in various areas of Melbourne's music scene and understand the difficulties that women face working within it. She produces a weekly event that prioritises women of colour for performance opportunities, as Melbourne does not provide regular spaces for these artists.
Diana is a jazz/blues singer, writer and publicist with over 25 years’ experience in the Australian music industry, which a special interest in supporting and advocating for women in music. She is the co-founder/producer of ‘the Play Like A Girl’ series and has performed at major Australian Festivals. Diana is a publicist and media advocate for the National Folk Festival, VicHealth/Quit, Call this Home and indigenous singer/songwriter Jessie Lloyd.
Dr Catherine Strong
Catherine is a highly respected academic in the popular music field, with a particular emphasis and expertise in gender issues. Her research has focused and highlighted how women are left out of historical records of popular music and has worked closely with APRA/AMCOS to produce its report on women screen writers in Australia and the career barriers they face, which informed APRA’s gender equity initiatives.
Dr. Nat Grant
Nat Grant makes music and sound art with percussion and electronics. She is a performer and composer who plays drums and percussion and sometimes computers. She writes music for other people to perform, and creates soundtracks and sound art for theatre, live art, and exhibitions.
Fiona brings close to three decades experience as an artist manager, tour manager, publicist, event co-ordinator and managed Australian band Spiderbait for 25 years. Fiona is currently the Arts Events Officer at Geelong City Council and is a strong advocate for regional artists. She is also a member of Creative Victoria’s Advisory Panel for the Music Works Program.
Jessie is an award-winning performer, producer and creative entrepreneur dedicated to the strength and progress of modern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the mediums of music and song. Originally from the tropics of north Queensland, Jessie is an Aboriginal and performs a broad collection of Indigenous songs and is passionate about preserving the stories of our First Australians in music and performance.
Rebecca Barnard has been an integral part of the Melbourne/ Australian music scene for over 30 years, across the pop, jazz and rock scenes and with her band Rebecca’s Empire. A mentor & educator, Rebecca runs songwriting workshops and records with a diverse mix of women including women with mental health issues, social isolation and diverse cultural backgrounds. Rebecca is a founding member of The Mirabel foundation and has been an assessor on music grant panels for Melbourne City Council and Creative Victoria.
Rita is a Lebanese-Australian female identifying Musician, Music Programmer, Program Manager and broadcaster. She brings a background in venue, stage & production management at major Australian festivals including Sydney Festival, Darwin Festival, WOMAD, BIGSOUND, Adelaide Festival and St Kilda festival. Rita is currently Program Manager at the Foundation for Young Australians.
Simona Castricum’s music and architecture practice explores the borderline space between euphoria, desolation and aggression - tied together by narratives of gender nonconformity, queer cities and relationships. Over 20 years traversing the club and live music landscape, Simona has evolved into a unique solo electronic performer and DJ. Simona is a Ph.D. candidate in architecture at the University of Melbourne School of Design and DJ/broadcaster on Melbourne community radio station PBS. Her culture and advocacy writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, i-D and Archer.
Siobhan is a music industry professional who is deeply passionate about the relationship between music and technology, and the changing way in which tech can benefit artists and creators. Siobhan is currently the Digital Communications Manager at the Mushroom Group.
Siobhan is a research audiologist undertaking her PhD to investigate ways to prevent music-induced hearing loss amongst sound engineers. Her studies are part of the research that underpins HEARsmart, the HEARing CRC’s campaign to promote hearing health and prevent noise-induced tinnitus and hearing loss – focused around the music industry. Siobhan also works casually for Academic Hearing specialising in rehabilitation and tinnitus management.
Sophie has released 4 independent albums and won awards such as Best Female Artist (The Age Music Victoria Awards) and Best Contemporary Song at IMA (Independent Music Awards USA). She was UnEarthed by Triple J in Darwin back in 2003 and she has since toured and collaborated with many, such as Ben Lee, The Eels, The Go-Betweens. She has guested on TV shows such as ABC’s Spicks and Specks, SBS’s Rockwiz and even Neighbours.
Sophie was born in New Zealand, to Malaysian Chinese parents and spent her childhood in Singapore. Her new album BOOK OF SONGS sees her divert course from pop into the classical-crossover world, revisiting her classical piano training and her ethnicity.